Defending Our Security
From Cyber Security to Unmanned Observation Aircraft
EADS Defence & Security has renamed itself "Cassidian". The company remains a division of EADS. The provider of global security solutions and systems for civil and military markets wants to market its portfolio of security systems more effectively in future with a new clear business profile, as Cassidian CEO Dr. Stefan Zoller reported. GIT-SECURITY.com spoke with Annette Scheck, Head of Communication about the details.
Mrs. Scheck, the EADS division Defence & Security renamed itself shortly before the Security exhibition in Essen: Cassidian is the new name, and there is a new logo too. What developments in the market moved you to take this step?
A. Scheck: In these times when gaining market share is largely dependent upon the exploitation of new markets, a strong brand name is absolutely essential. We have now attained this with Cassidian and we are moving away from the purely descriptive trading name that we had before. This gives us the opportunity to ‚charge up‘ the new brand with the contents that are important for us and our customers. If you buy Cassidian in the future, you‘ll get 100% Cassidian. This message is essential above all in international business.
What will change for the national subsidiaries because of this, and what will change in the relationship to EADS?
A. Scheck: Our relationship to the parent company will not change at all. We remain one of the four strong pillars of EADS.
With this realignment do you want to be more effective in your target markets or is it also intended to gain new markets?
A. Scheck: Both. Naturally it is our main priority as before to be a reliable partner in our home markets. The current situation in Europe‘s state budgets is widely known, and to keep turnover stable or to increase it during such a phase it is essential to exploit new markets. We have already focused our strategy on India, Brazil and the Middle East. A global policy for our business is very important for us.
You are positioning yourselves as a company that follows the aim - I quote your press release - „of supporting those whose task it is to protect the world". Could you explain the business model of Cassidian a little more closely to us - also with respect to your competitors - and outline for our readers which customers you are addressing and which projects you are seeking primarily?
A. Scheck: To best support our partners and customers, we had to reformulate what our core business consists of. We have now expressed this in our Mission Statement. Whether fireman, paramedic, police officer, soldier or border official - with our products, systems and services we help these people to carry out their job safely and efficiently every day. And that is what we must be judged by. But our Mission Statement also makes clear that Cassidian stands above all for security. From digital secure radio at the Olympic Games to high performance drones for surveillance flights in Afghanistan - everywhere that security for people and the world is needed, Cassidian can and will play its part. This explains exactly what we mean in our claim „Defending World Security".
You are active in military as well as in civil sectors. What is the relationship here?
A. Scheck: Because of the many overlaps these days the two sectors can no longer be clearly separated. Our aim is to provide the best possible solution for every problem and for every operation.
Could you please give us some reference examples from the civil sector - one each from Cassidian Electronics, Air Systems and Systems?
A. Scheck: Happily. Most of the police helicopters and the latest generation of rescue helicopters in Germany are equipped with the so-called Hellas System from Cassidian. This system enables the pilot to recognize power lines, cable lift wires or other hindrances even in bad visibility conditions and to carry out their job safely. In the Cassidian Air Systems sector it was an unmanned aircraft Type Harfang belonging to the French Army that monitored the visit of Pope Benedict to Lourdes in 2007 from the air and helped the French security services to maintain an overview. The Talarion UAV System currently under development will make it possible to fly more than 20 different missions with an unmanned aircraft. From observing large freight ships that illegally pump oil waste into the ocean to establishing the level of damage in catastrophe regions and sending rescue services in where they are most needed will all be possible. Cassidian Systems has been strong in civil applications for many years. As market leader in digital radio, our radio systems were also in use at the Football World Cup in South Africa and also at the 2008 Olympics in Peking. The police were working with our newly-developed 3D orientation system at this year‘s Ryder Cup in Wales. At the moment we are working on our largest project in this sector in Saudi Arabia. There we are responsible for creating the national security network. This also includes the communications infrastructure for the security authorities as well as protecting the over 9,000 kilometer long country border.
Where do you see the greatest opportunities for your company and, from your company‘s point of view, what are the most important technology trends?
A. Scheck: We are one of the largest technology forges in Europe and therefore carry a corresponding responsibility for our home countries. We must try to maintain and extend our competitive edge in high-tech. The most important fields in future will be in the areas of unmanned aircraft, cyber security and every type of security electronics.
And finally: your department was in charge of the re-branding process. What is behind the name ‚Cassidian‘ and the design of the new logo?
A. Scheck: Our name Cassidian and also our logo - a globe protected by two hands - underline our motivation to support those that try every day to make the world more safe and worth living in. The name Cassidian comes from the Latin word for helmet (cassida) and the meridian, the line that stretches from the North to the South Pole. The first demonstrates our aim to protect. The second element points out the scale of what we want to do in the future. We are about to start on the path to make Cassidian an unlimited global company.